Montessori education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori based on her years of patient observation and study of children. She was a medical doctor, a student of psychology, and a professor of anthropology. She developed her methods of teaching and materials based upon what worked for the children she was observing.
Within our three classrooms, the Montessori teacher acts as a guide to the students. Students are presented with individual lessons on an array of developmentally appropriate materials that foster their strengths and build areas in need of improvement. Students choose “work” that is displayed on open shelves at their level from a multitude of subjects at their discretion. The prepared environment allows children to explore in a stress-free atmosphere.
The Early Childhood Years
The Montessori curriculum for the early childhood years places emphasis on physical development, emotional development, social development, and cognitive development. Practical life exercises include pouring liquids, preparing food, promoting concentration, ordering tasks, and completion of a work cycle. Sensory training enables a Montessori child to identify and categorize information obtained throughout their five senses. Materials that introduce the young mind to language arts, math, art, music, history, world culture, geography, and science are found in the Montessori preschool environment.
The Kindergarten and Elementary School Years
The Montessori curriculum for the kindergarten and elementary school years places an emphasis on three aspects: fundamental skills, Great Lessons, and individually chosen research.
- Fundamental skills require a basic knowledge of math, science, language arts, technology, geography, anthropology, civics, economics, and the organization of human society
- The Great Lessons include the inspiring stories of the development of life on Earth, language, math, and technology
- For individually chosen research, children are encouraged to conduct library and internet research, prepare oral and written reports, and teach their classmates.
The Montessori Method is based on these three main premises:
- Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from one another
- Each child possesses a unique sensitivity and intellectual ability to absorb and learn from our environment
- The most important years of a child’s growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is brought to the conscious level.